Interior Designer Program
How to Choose the Right One Near New River Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near New River AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to assess and compare each college you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the right choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in New River AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, New River AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in New River AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their New River AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your New River AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many New River AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the New River AZ college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of New River AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the New River AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New River AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your New River home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New River AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About How to Become an Interior Designer in New River
Choose the Best New River Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in New River Arizona.
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